Legendary music promoter - credited with changing the face of UK festivals - Vince Power has died at the age of 76.

At the height of his success, the Irish born founder of the Mean Fiddler Music Group was running huge live events including Bencassim, Leeds, Reading, Tribal Gathering and the Fleadh Festival in Finsbury Park.

He even got Glastonbury back on its feet, ensuring it ran smoothly when its license was threatened after 100,000 fans snuck under the fence in 2000.

He also ran various restaurants and variously the London Astoria, the Clapham Grand, the Jazz Cafe in Camden Town, and the Forum in Kentish Town.

Ham & High: Power lived in and around Kilburn, Brondesbury and Harlesden during his decades in LondonPower lived in and around Kilburn, Brondesbury and Harlesden during his decades in London (Image: Newsquest archive)

The bands who worked with him read like a who's who of rock legends: Prince, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears, and Van Morrison.

But it all started in North West London where Power moved as a teenager from County Waterford. Born one of eleven children, he lived around Kilburn and Harlesden working variously in construction and even at a Walls ice cream factory.

He once told the Ham&High: "Harlesden was good to me so I was good to Harlesden." Tavistock Road, was one of his first addresses in the 1960s, and he met his first wife Teresa in the 32 Club.

After starting a successful furniture business, he bought a run down "dodgy drinking club" in Harlesden High Street which he opened in 1982.

The Mean Fiddler started off booking Irish and Country bands, but took off when it branched out into contemporary acts; Foo Fighters, The Pogues, The Pixies, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Nick Cave, and Radiohead played there before it closed in 2002.

Power credited his success with luck, hard work, doggedness, and a simple love of music. He sold his stake in The Mean Fiddler group in 2005 - under the title Festival Republic it continues to run Leeds, Reading, Latitude festivals and events in Finsbury Park.

But he didn't leave the industry, instead founding the Vince Power Music Group and a new festival the Hop Farm in Kent, which went bust leaving him liable for millions. He lived variously in Brondesbury, Maida Vale, and in the latter years above his pub The Fiddler on Kilburn High Road.

He bought Dingwalls in 2020 during the pandemic and renamed it the Powerhaus after one of his old venues in Liverpool Road, Islington where everyone from Radiohead to Blur, Pulp and Primal Scream played.

He scheduled his old friend Van Morrison to open it, telling the Ham&High at the time: “Van has been a great friend of my venues for many years and has opened every venue I’ve ever had. Camden is a good area for music and has a great history and a lot of venues."

With reduced capacity during Covid he said even if he sold every ticket for £1,000 it wouldn't cover costs.

"’No-one’s going to make any money out of this but it will get the venue off to a flying start.”

Asked why not retire now he was in his 70s he added “I don’t think I have done my bit yet and what else would I do? Be some old git who talks to people about what they used to do? I do enough of that already, and my kids take the piss out of me. When we drive around they point and say ‘oh did you used to own that?"

Paul Weller, Imelda May, Cerys Matthews were among those who tweeted their condolences with Weller saying 'I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Vince Power, who was a good friend to us, and will be greatly missed. Bless you mate and thank you.'

Vince Power is survived by his eight children in a statement his family said:  “It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Vince Power. A visionary entrepreneur who enhanced and influenced the music industry significantly, whilst always being a dedicated, loving father and a loyal friend to so many."

His funeral Mass will be held at The Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Quex Road Kilburn on Monday March 18 at 7pm.